Back Seat Producers Season 07 Shows

BSP Episode 215: Team America: World Police

Release date:  10/15/04

Paramount Pictures

Directed by:

Trey Parker

Written by:

Trey Parker

Matt Stone

Pam Brady

Produced by:

Trey Parker

Matt Stone

Scott Rudin


Trey Parker:

Gary Johnston


Kim Jong Il

Hans Blix


Matt Damon

Drunk in Bar

Tim Robbins

Sean Penn

Michael Moore

Helen Hunt

Susan Sarandon


Matt Stone:


George Clooney

Danny Glover

Ethan Hawke


Kristen Miller:


Masasa Moyo:


Daran Norris:


Phil Hendrie:


Chechnyah Terrorist

Let it first be noted, and never forgotten, that this movie was Sam’s pick!  Partly because he loves this movie and partly because it fulfills the Recently Dead Guy Podcast formula (Kim Jong Il).

The MPAA rated this movie R, with a specific explanation, “For graphic crude and sexual humor, violent images and strong language – all involving puppets.”

Sam could not contain his excitement from the very beginning, before the discussion of the movie even started, setting a clear tone for the night, “God damn it America, f**k yeah!”

This is the MOST animated I have seen Darrell… (granted, I’ve only been listening for a couple of months, but still!)

The initial comments by the hosts:

Darrell thought it was the funniest thing he’d seen in a while, and the funny/odd part is that a lot of the stuff talked about in the movie has sort of come true.  Tony thought it was funny and a great parody and social commentary in that both sides of the issue are equally skewered.  Trey Parker and Matt Stone make everyone look ridiculous.  Sam thought that it’s the greatest modern satire or our era and that Stone and Parker are this generation’s best satirists because no one is safe.

It was also agreed that Parker and Stone couldn’t have gotten away with covering any of this subject matter with actual actors or even as an animated movie (South Park-ish).

Team America: World Police hit on so many movie clichés – the tragic love triangle, the character who is a jerk for no other reason than to be a jerk and the reluctant hero hitting rock bottom and then finding his courage, to name a few.

In the opening scene in Paris, all the bricks on the ground are actually croissants.  Tony also notes that in this opening scene, Parker and Stone show, in extremes, what the rest of the world sees Americans as.  We are the cops for the WORLD… We’ll take care of things for everyone else, whether they like it or not!  The fact that Team America levels almost every inch of Paris… the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triumph, the Louvre, leaving the residents of Paris with looks of terror and dismay on their faces as Team America makes their “triumphant” departure back to the U.S. is not only priceless, but also introduces that attitude of arrogant Americans.

The opening scene also included a puppet puppeteering a smaller puppet, which completely freaked out your happy note taker (Lena)… because those puppets aren’t creepy enough on their own!

Everyone wholeheartedly agreed that the puppetry was very good.  They loved how, during the fight scenes (which Sam dubbed “Puppet Fu”), the puppets just flail wildly at each other but during the sex scene, the intricate puppet maneuvers were painstakingly choreographed.

This sex scene initially garnered the movie an NC-17 Rating by the MPAA.  The scene was edited 12 times before they were finally given the R rating Parker and Stone were aiming for.

Tony also loved that Kim Jong Il was really an alien cockroach that gets into his rocket ship and flies away at the end.

The music in the movie also played a huge part in adding to the mood and movement of the story.  And thank you, Sam, for singing bits and pieces of the songs during this part of the discussion!  Sam also mentions that, at the very end of the credits, there is one more uncredited song sung by Kim Jong Il, “You Are Worthless, Alec Baldwin.”

It’s also noted that song being played in the bar (Derka Derk) is the Star Wars Cantina theme played backwards.

As for the infamous “D**k, p***y, a*****e speech , as much as I would love to get into this, not only could I not do it proper justice, but it would just be line after line of asterisks… so I highly encourage you all to listen to this entire podcast!

While discussion the overt racism and how necessary it was for Parker and Stone to make their points, Scott notes (from the chat room), “It’s so racist it’s like it loops around just ridiculous, back through racist again and back to nuts.”

Sergio states (also from the chat room) that this film is made for high school boys, college men, basically the male population of the world, except for Koreans.  {Lena’s additional note: as none of the above, I’m just going to have to disagree with Sergio on that one… I LOVED this movie!}

It’s much too easy to dismiss this as a simple film about puppets who swear and have sex – UNLESS you actually take the time to watch it, think about it, and discuss it!

Darrell noted that there were shades of Quentin Tarantino in the film; namely the scene with Team America walking down the hall in the palace on their way to battle with the “Battle Without Honor or Humanity” from Kill Bill.  (This was featured in the movies Kill Bill,TransformersShrek the ThirdHotel for DogsTeam America: World Police )  Also, in a nod to Tarantino, is the big shootout, filled with gore, blood and guts flying all over the place.

In the overhead shot of Gary lying in his own vomit (perhaps the most favorite scene of the hosts), it’s actually Trey Parker wearing a pair of fake legs so the proportions are right.  The “vomit” was a mixture of soup and beer.

Matt Stone referred to the puppet technique they used as “supercrappymation.”

Sean Penn was so insulted by his portrayal in Team America that, in his letter to Parker and Stone, he closed it with, “a sincere f**k you, Sean Penn.”

Matt Damon was originally written as an intelligent puppet, but when they saw the finished product, they thought he looked dumb and decided to portray him as such.  Also, Matt Damon and George Clooney were both quoted as saying that they would have been offended if they weren’t in the film!  Alec Baldwin also reportedly round the project very amusing.

The Michael Moore puppet was filled with ham before they blew him up.

I couldn’t find anything “official” but I did find a few YouTube links (one below) for “You Are Worthless Alec Baldwin

Your Producers for this episode were:

  • Tony
  • Darrell
  • Sam

This episode was recorded: 1/18/2012